SG101 on the Web

Follow SurfGuitar101 on Twitter

Photo of the Day
Shoutbox

Theam1964: johnny fortune
11 days ago

Guitarzilla2014: Guitarzilla.com
9 days ago

Guitarzilla2014: check out the high speed mayhem of the surf at Guitarzilla.com or on Facebook @ Guitarzilla . In the spirit of Dick Dale with formere Del Tone John Wheeler
9 days ago

Brian: Guitarzilla.com is a parked domain.
7 days ago

Brian: I think you mean this: http://www.g...
7 days ago

Emilien03: Wow! 2 weeks of instro madnnes in CA! Now ... back to reality! Cool
4 days ago

Brian: It was great seeing you Emilio!
4 days ago

bigtikidude: I agree, yer welcome anytime Emilio
2 days ago

bigtikidude: And yeah reality sucks
2 days ago

HBkahuna: Tony Valentino, founder and lead guitarist of The Standells "Dirty Water" was so stoked by his SG101 Convention experience that he went home, composed and recorded a new surf song. Trying to figure best way to share. Tony gave his permission to share.
2 days ago

Please login or register to shout.

Current Contests

No contests at this time. Check out our past contests.

Donations

Help us meet our monthly goal:

100%

100%

Donate Now

Cake August Birthdays Cake
SG101 MP3 Comps
Top 101 Banner

SurfGuitar101 Forums » Recording Corner »

Permalink Mono vs Stereo Recording

New Topic
Goto Page: 1 2 Next

Some modern surf bands, in order to capture the Golden Olden Sounds of Yesteryear™, record in mono. What are your thoughts on this practice? Do you find it too limiting? Are there specific tricks to keep the instruments sounding distinct in a mono recording? As a listener, does it make much difference to you if the songs are in stereo or in mono?

http://www.reverbnation.com/thedeadranchhands

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZEW74mHjQk

You don't have to worry about phase in mono. I suppose that makes it easier in a sense or more predictable. There are many really cool mono recordings but i have a feeling they don't sound the way they do simply because they are mono. I wish i knew more about it though.

I'd definitely want stereo. A properly mixed stereo album just sounds much better. Deciding to record in mono just to emulate old recordings is pretty sad to me. To record mono because it it fits in with a vision in your head, that is fantastic. However, you have to be taleted in recording and mixing to make a mono album sound outstanding.

I don't know much about phase, is it an issue in stereo albums? I ask, because you should record mic'd instrument tracks in mono, and then pan the tracks to make them stereo. Correct?

Mono on a old record is ok.. cause thats what they had.. but i will never put on a mono cd and crank it up and enjoy it like a good stereo or DTS recording...

I wanna play just like him when i grow up...

It seems like some of the early stereo records made more frequent use of wide-panned instruments than is done to day - ie drums panned hard right, guitar panned hard left, etc.

What are your thoughts on that practice as opposed to more subtle panning?

http://www.reverbnation.com/thedeadranchhands

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZEW74mHjQk

UmaFloresta
It seems like some of the early stereo records made more frequent use of wide-panned instruments than is done to day - ie drums panned hard right, guitar panned hard left, etc.

What are your thoughts on that practice as opposed to more subtle panning?

I hate the wide panning of drums. Sounds terrible. Some of the earlier Beatles albums are less pleasurable to listen to as a result.

UmaFloresta
It seems like some of the early stereo records made more frequent use of wide-panned instruments than is done to day - ie drums panned hard right, guitar panned hard left, etc.

What are your thoughts on that practice as opposed to more subtle panning?

If the idea is to reproduce what you hear, say, in a live situation, then stereo makes sense. That said, panning the drums audibly L and R makes almost none to me. Truth is, if you are listening to a band onstage without sound reinforcement, you don't hear the drums in stereo. I believe that they should occupy the center channel, though this goes quite counter to most every modern recording.

LHR
That said, panning the drums audibly L and R makes almost none to me. Truth is, if you are listening to a band onstage without sound reinforcement, you don't hear the drums in stereo. I believe that they should occupy the center channel, though this goes quite counter to most every modern recording.

Not sure I agree with that Trey. Live drums by their nature tend to reflect off of all the sound surfaces in the room giving a quasi stereo effect, more like stereo delay widening the sound a bit. But using a stereo delay on a recording sounds kind of fake, where as slightly panning the different drums gives a more approximate feel of live. Or am I way off here?

Danny Snyder
aka Mycroft Eloi of The TomorrowMen
aka Shecky Shekels of Meshugga Beach Party
aka Zync Oxyde of Frankie and the Poolboys

JakeDobner

UmaFloresta
It seems like some of the early stereo records made more frequent use of wide-panned instruments than is done to day - ie drums panned hard right, guitar panned hard left, etc.

What are your thoughts on that practice as opposed to more subtle panning?

I hate the wide panning of drums. Sounds terrible. Some of the earlier Beatles albums are less pleasurable to listen to as a result.

Yes, and they were not meant to be like that. Those early albums were originally mixed by George Martin in mono from the 4-track master tape and mono was their intended medium. Because it was done on 4-track, that master tape commonly contained one track that the bulk of the recording session had been bounced down to whilst the remaining three tracks contained the last three overdubs. However, when stereo became the latest thing and EMI came to produce 'stereo' versions of those early albums, all they did was get the 4-track master tape and pan two of the tracks hard left and the other two hard right and press it. That's why they sound like that. It wasn't what George Martin intended.

http://www.myspace.com/thepashuns

Youth and enthusiasm are no match for age and treachery.

estreet

JakeDobner

UmaFloresta
It seems like some of the early stereo records made more frequent use of wide-panned instruments than is done to day - ie drums panned hard right, guitar panned hard left, etc.

What are your thoughts on that practice as opposed to more subtle panning?

I hate the wide panning of drums. Sounds terrible. Some of the earlier Beatles albums are less pleasurable to listen to as a result.

Yes, and they were not meant to be like that. Those early albums were originally mixed by George Martin in mono from the 4-track master tape and mono was their intended medium. Because it was done on 4-track, that master tape commonly contained one track that the bulk of the recording session had been bounced down to whilst the remaining three tracks contained the last three overdubs. However, when stereo became the latest thing and EMI came to produce 'stereo' versions of those early albums, all they did was get the 4-track master tape and pan two of the tracks hard left and the other two hard right and press it. That's why they sound like that. It wasn't what George Martin intended.

Interesting - I had no idea

http://www.reverbnation.com/thedeadranchhands

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZEW74mHjQk

DannySnyder

LHR
That said, panning the drums audibly L and R makes almost none to me. Truth is, if you are listening to a band onstage without sound reinforcement, you don't hear the drums in stereo. I believe that they should occupy the center channel, though this goes quite counter to most every modern recording.

Not sure I agree with that Trey. Live drums by their nature tend to reflect off of all the sound surfaces in the room giving a quasi stereo effect, more like stereo delay widening the sound a bit. But using a stereo delay on a recording sounds kind of fake, where as slightly panning the different drums gives a more approximate feel of live. Or am I way off here?

Maybe I should have been a little more precise. I do like a wee spread on the drums just not very much at all. A few % L and R way and I am happy with the resulting soundstage.

That said, I have heard lots of music that I like with pretty hard L and R drum mixing. (You know, like the toms hard panned left and snare hard panned right, overheads with hard L/R panning.) I am just stating what I prefer. If you like to hear the drums all around you as though you were sitting in the center of the kit, that is fine with me. This is only my opinion, mind you.

estreet
Yes, and they were not meant to be like that. Those early albums were originally mixed by George Martin in mono from the 4-track master tape and mono was their intended medium. Because it was done on 4-track, that master tape commonly contained one track that the bulk of the recording session had been bounced down to whilst the remaining three tracks contained the last three overdubs. However, when stereo became the latest thing and EMI came to produce 'stereo' versions of those early albums, all they did was get the 4-track master tape and pan two of the tracks hard left and the other two hard right and press it. That's why they sound like that. It wasn't what George Martin intended.

Exactly!

estreet

JakeDobner

UmaFloresta
It seems like some of the early stereo records made more frequent use of wide-panned instruments than is done to day - ie drums panned hard right, guitar panned hard left, etc.

What are your thoughts on that practice as opposed to more subtle panning?

I hate the wide panning of drums. Sounds terrible. Some of the earlier Beatles albums are less pleasurable to listen to as a result.

Yes, and they were not meant to be like that. Those early albums were originally mixed by George Martin in mono from the 4-track master tape and mono was their intended medium. Because it was done on 4-track, that master tape commonly contained one track that the bulk of the recording session had been bounced down to whilst the remaining three tracks contained the last three overdubs. However, when stereo became the latest thing and EMI came to produce 'stereo' versions of those early albums, all they did was get the 4-track master tape and pan two of the tracks hard left and the other two hard right and press it. That's why they sound like that. It wasn't what George Martin intended.

I generally prefer stereo to mono, but there are exceptions, especially when the original music was recorded with the intention of being released in mono.

I agree that the early Beatles albums were not meant for stereo mixes. To my ears the mono mixes sound much punchier and better. Some of the mono mixes of the later albums (up to the White Album) sound pretty good. I don't know if I prefer them to the stereo mixes, but I can see why some people prefer them. For example, in listening to the bass on "Baby Your a Rich Man" mono mix , it sounds absolutely incredible: like you are there.

A correction to the quote above: Abbey Road didn't go to 4 track with the Beatles until sessions for "A Hard Day's Night" began in October 1963. 4 track was available, but was generally reserved for easy listening orchestras with vocals. Prior to "A Hard Day's Night" the Beatles were recorded in "twin track" with vocals going to one track, and instruments to the other track.

Bob

LHR shares my opinion of the drum kit in stereo. Too much hard left and right and it seems false. How can a cymbal hit on right and the hi-hat on left have a wider spread than the whole band? It only works in those cases if you imagine you are the drummer when listening.

www.jetpackband.com
www.jetpackband.blogspot.com

estreet

JakeDobner

UmaFloresta
It seems like some of the early stereo records made more frequent use of wide-panned instruments than is done to day - ie drums panned hard right, guitar panned hard left, etc.

What are your thoughts on that practice as opposed to more subtle panning?

I hate the wide panning of drums. Sounds terrible. Some of the earlier Beatles albums are less pleasurable to listen to as a result.

Yes, and they were not meant to be like that. Those early albums were originally mixed by George Martin in mono from the 4-track master tape and mono was their intended medium. Because it was done on 4-track, that master tape commonly contained one track that the bulk of the recording session had been bounced down to whilst the remaining three tracks contained the last three overdubs. However, when stereo became the latest thing and EMI came to produce 'stereo' versions of those early albums, all they did was get the 4-track master tape and pan two of the tracks hard left and the other two hard right and press it. That's why they sound like that. It wasn't what George Martin intended.

As a matter of fact, pan pots didn't exist in comercial studios until about 1967 - 1968. One could only place things hard left. center, or hard right. Stereo wasn't really taken seriously as a commercial medium until about '69 or so because the majority of consumers had mono systems. Until then, stereo versions of albums were an after thought. Singles were mixed in mono well into the late seventies, because AM radio was the primary commercial medium.
Phasing is a big issue in stereo with regard to center information. Unless your speakers are in perfect phase. Listen to a mono record on out of phase speakers and you can easily be fooled into thinking it's stereo, that's how they used to do 'fake' stereo.
If you're not listening from in between the speakers, you aren't listening in stereo anyway. The best way to judge a stereo mix is from another room so you are effectively listening in mono. The preference for one or the other is kind of subjective anyway. Phil Spector ( yeah him! ) believed that stereo placed too much control in the listeners hands.
I believe in some ways mono is superior.

Incidently, a pan pot was originally known as an 'Azimuth Co-ordinator', now that's a cool name...

http://reverbnation.com/thecoffindaggers
https://www.facebook.com/coffindagger
http://coffindaggers.com/
http://thecoffindaggers.bandcamp.com

Here's a bit of lo fi gimmickery taken to the extreme - I took a couple of my songs and ran them through a couple of VSTs for simulating dirty and warbling tapes - Magneto and Wow & Flutter.

Magneto comes with Cubase, I think. Wow & Flutter is free:

http://www.interruptor.ch/vst_overview.shtml

I didn't do a mono mix - simply exporting the mixdown as mono didn't sound right, and I didn't feel like messing with the panning and levels in the original project file. Anyway, this sounds quite grungy, far more than any of the original surf releases. Think half-eaten tape, respooled.

http://www.reverbnation.com/artist/song_details/4386000?play_now=true

http://www.reverbnation.com/artist/song_details/4385992?play_now=true

http://www.reverbnation.com/thedeadranchhands

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZEW74mHjQk

psychonaut
Incidently, a pan pot was originally known as an 'Azimuth Co-ordinator', now that's a cool name...

I think that was from Pink Floyd for their quad pan pots in the late 60's. As I remember the first time I saw a pan pot was at Goldstar in the mid 60's (I was just a child Wink ). They called it a panoramic potentiometer and they were only available by patching them in.

Recording in mono successfully needs a top-flight studio in 1964 - latest. Or you are the Jesus and Mary Chain in a real cathedral - or other such ethereal places.

Just record everything to the best of your studio's ability per channel then mix down in mono, I'd say.

Edit.
Cool sounds there. Likey.

dboomer

psychonaut
Incidently, a pan pot was originally known as an 'Azimuth Co-ordinator', now that's a cool name...

I think that was from Pink Floyd for their quad pan pots in the late 60's. As I remember the first time I saw a pan pot was at Goldstar in the mid 60's (I was just a child Wink ). They called it a panoramic potentiometer and they were only available by patching them in.

Yes, you are correct, the quad panner looks like a joystick. got my facts mixed up sorry.

http://reverbnation.com/thecoffindaggers
https://www.facebook.com/coffindagger
http://coffindaggers.com/
http://thecoffindaggers.bandcamp.com

I found another plugin that does a pretty good vinyl record imitation - I forget the name of it, but it was free. You can add scratchy sounds, motor noise, warping and select frequency cutoff, and convert to mono, if you wish.

http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/song_4913604

http://www.reverbnation.com/thedeadranchhands

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZEW74mHjQk

Goto Page: 1 2 Next
Top